From the Hans Christian Andersen biography "The Life of Hans Christian Andersen. Day By Day", written by DPhil Johan de Mylius:


Liden Kirsten (Little Kirsten) in Weimar
Rejse til Tyskland

1856: Liden Kirsten (Little Kirsten) in Weimar

In this year

Release of a collection of HCA's fairy-tales in Russian, translated from German by J. von Yxkull (St. Petersborg).

In this year

Release in France of Contes (Fairy-tales), translated by D. Soldi (Paris).

In this year

And up until 1859, the old town gates of Copenhagen are demolished in connection with the expansion beyond the old ramparts and due to the building of new streets. The story "Tolv med Posten" (Twelve by Post), released in 1861, is in fact purely nostalgic as far as the basic scene is concerned; the inspections at the town gates. These gates were a thing of the past when the story was written.

17 January

The opera Klein Karen (Liden Kirsten) (Little Kirsten) is staged by Liszt in Weimar as promised.

30 April

Takes the train from Copenhagen to Slagelse and then a coach on to Mrs Scavenius at Basnæs Estate. On Saturday 26th, the extension to Korsør of the Copenhagen - Roskilde train line had just been completed, with an 11 day delay. HCA was thus able, for the first time, to drive past Sorø and gaze in at the Academy and Ingemann. Outing to Førslevgård (childrens' party at the Neergaards).

15 May

To Holsteinborg to see Mimi Holstein, nèe Zahrtmann. The diary for this day:

"The food was sumptuous, I was placed in a very elegant bedroom and a cabinet facing the great Borggaard, which is rather similar to Kronborg [castle]".

Here he works on his new novel:

"The whole unity of the new novel came to me; a struggle towards the sole consolation of awareness" (the diary, 23rd May).

Experiences haunting at Holsteinborg:

"At night I hear a distant sound, like that of a tower clock! I asked the valet and he said the place is haunted. A young lady here also heard it and said it sounded like someone hobbling down the hall" (the diary, 19th May).

26 May

Goes to Sorø, where HCA joins the celebration of Ingemann's birthday on 28th.

1856: Rejse til Tyskland

1 June

Return to Copenhagen.

6 June

By train to Korsør (the trip took 3 hours and 15 minutes. In Sorø it was possible for Swane (teacher and later rural dean) to arrive comfortably at the station and greet HCA, who was godfather to Swane's son). From Copenhagen HCA travelled with the Czech pianist and composer Alexander Dreyschock. Takes the steamship Zephyr to Kiel. From there, on by train via Altona and Hannover (where "a young lady sat reading in Bilderbog (Picture Book), the diary, 8th). On through Braunschweig and Leipzig (meets with Lorck) to Dresden (arriving 10th June). Goes to see Dahl, who was "painting his last work". Tries to interest Julius Pabst, dramatist a the court theatre in Dresden, in Klein Karin (Little Karin).

13th - 21st June

Staying with the Serres at Maxen Estate, where the poet Gutzkow also arrives. He tells HCA about his adaptation of Goethe's Faust II for the theatre. HCA feels despondent as Gutzkow continually criticises his abilities as a writer. There is an outing to Rabenhorst, now to be called Adlerhorst, where HCA sees the inscription with his name at Schwanennest.

22 June

Continues to Weimar. Here he sees Goethe's Faust I at the theatre. Is welcomed by the grand duke at Ettersburg:

"Tears came to my eyes when I thought about how I, the son of a poor shoemaker and washerwoman, was embraced by the nephew of the Emperor of Russia; how odd when extremes meet" (the diary, 23rd).

Sees the premiere of Faust II, act 1 at the theatre. (Goethe's grandson was also present). Accompanies Walther Goethe on an outing to and from Ettersburg and also goes to see him when leaving. Reads Faust II. (Goethe's Faust is examined in detail in HCA's novel At være eller ikke at være (To Be or Not To Be) and has a certain thematic significance for the novel.
Goes to see Lorck, who leads HCA to L. Wiedemann, a publisher from Leipzig, with whom HCA discusses publication and translation. It is Wiedemann who takes over and continues Lorck's publishing business.

29 June

Return to Dresden, where HCA meets the composer Spohr and his family at the theatre. Seeks out Auerbach and hears about his new novel Barfüssele, and finds an element in it (the harmonica) which is also present in his own forthcoming novel.

4th - 30th June

At Maxen once again, where he helps Major Serre translate Fuglen i Pæretræet (The Bird in The Pear Tree), but is angered by his "bessermachen" (German for "attempts to improve") (the diary, 9th). Is contacted by an agent from the publishing house Westerman of Braunschweig, who wishes to recruit HCA as an employee of a new publication: "Illustrierte deutsche Monatshefte" (Illustrated German Monthly Magazine). Together with Serre, HCA translates "Silkeborg" for the new magazine. Also translates with Serre the play Den Nye Barselstue (The New Lying-in Room). Pabst, the dramaturge, promises to stage Klein Karen (Little Karen) in Dresden during the winter. On 28th there is a private performance of Fuglen i Pæretræet (The Bird in The Pear Tree) at Maxen Estate. Amongst the audience is the poet Auerbach. The steward from Dresden Theatre sees the performance and wishes to use it.

30th July - 4th August

In Dresden once again. From there to Berlin, on to Hamburg on 5th, to Rendsborg on 7th, and from there on 9th. Wants to go to Korsør and from here to Basnæs Estate, but ends up going ashore in Svendborg and then on to Glorup Estate.

9th - 19th August

At Glorup Estate, where he works on At være eller ikke være (To Be or Not To Be). From here via Nyborg to Korsør on 19th. Is collected by a carriage sent from Basnæs Estate.

19th August - 2nd September

At Basnæs. Outing to Espe. The Jerichaus are also here for a week. Continues work on the novel. Then spends 3 days in Sorø with the Ingemanns before returning to Copenhagen.


Is now granted free admittance to the Royal Theatre every day of the week (had until then had free admittance 4 days a week).

23 October

Visits the Ingemanns on his way to a christening at Holsteinborg. HCA is the godfather of Christian Holstein. Whilst there, spends time with A.N. de Saint-Aubin (the writer Carl Bernhard). Returns to Copenhagen on 1st November.

18 November

Dines at the home of Mrs Tutein (daughter of Giuseppe Siboni) along with Gade, Clara Schumann and the Jerichaus (presumably due to Clara Schumann performing at concerts in Copenhagen).

23 December

Overnights at the Ingemanns' on the way to Basnæs Estate, where he arrives on 24th, but is otherwise ill during Christmas.

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